LAKEPOINTE, Ga. – First the first time in the 59-year history of the program, the Jacksonville University men's golf team saw six different players earn postseason honors, as the ASUN Conference announced this year's award recipients at its annual year-end banquet Saturday evening, just before the start of the 2018 ASUN Championship.
Senior Raul Pereda earned ASUN First-Team Honors, while fellow-senior Elliott Fullalove and sophomore Eduardo Carrete picked up ASUN Second-Team accolades. Michael Sakane and Aaeri Krishnan were both tabbed to the ASUN All-Freshman Team, with Sakane being selected as the 2018 ASUN Freshman of the Year. Additionally, junior Sam Uhland earned ASUN All-Academic Team honors.
"It's a great honor to have this many players recognized by the other coaches in our conference," Head Coach Mike Blackburn said. "They've all worked so hard, and are very deserving of the honors that they have received."
Raul Pereda | Sr. | Cordoba, Mexico | ASUN First-Team
A three-time ASUN postseason honoree, Pereda earns First-Team honors for the first time in his storied career, after grabbing a spot on the second-team last season. The Cordoba, Mexico native was recognized after posting one of the top single-season campaigns in program history thus far. Currently the No. 38th ranked golfer in the nation according to Golf Stat, he has consistently earned the highest individual rankings of any JU golfer, and has secured a place as one of the top-3 ranked golfers in the conference throughout the spring season.
Through eight regular-season tournament appearances, Pereda owns a 70.13 average score, which is 71.08 when adjusted for par. The senior steadied the team with 80 birdies and four eagles during the regular season, shooting 17 rounds of par or better thus far. The all-time leader is rounds of par or under in school history (52), he made three top-5 individual finishes, including tying for third place at The John Hayt Collegiate Invitational March 18-19.
Pereda matched his 18-hole career best at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate in October, carding a 65 in the second round, just the ninth such occurrence in team history. The weekend proved to be his most successful as a Dolphin thus far, setting a new best for a 36-hole score (135) and tying his 54-hole mark (205).
Pereda saw his name included in elite group of Dolphin golfers on March 1, when he picked up his second career ASUN weekly honor, splitting ASUN Player of the Week with Michael Sakane. The accolade marked the second time that he received a weekly honor from the league, joining Franck Medale and David Wicks as the only JU players to receive multiple awards.
"Raul has certainly distinguished himself as one of the best players in the conference and in our school's history. I think the other coaches recognize that, and he probably received contention for Player of the Year." – Coach Blackburn
Elliott Fullalove | Sr. | Kingswood, England | ASUN Second-Team
Honored by the conference for the first time in his two-year career as a Dolphin, Fullalove appeared in all eight tournaments for the team his year, clocking in an average score of 72.30 through 23 rounds. The senior shot nine rounds of par or better, including five under 70. Fullalove recorded an 18-hole low at the Quail Valley Collegiate Invitational on October 24, recording a six-under 66 in the second round. Finishing second on the team in with 71 birdies in regular season play, he shot his first eagle of the year in round three of the Gary Koch Invitational on April 10.
"After transferring to JU following his sophomore year, Elliott has been an extremely hard worker, and has made significant contributions to our program. We certainly wish him the best moving forward, and have seen the results of his work pay off." – Coach Blackburn
Eduardo Carrete | So. | El Campanario, Mexico | ASUN Second-Team
Playing in his first season at JU after transferring from San Francisco, Carrete held a 72.29 average score through 21 rounds of golf in eight tournaments. Compiling 67 birdies and an eagle, he became the second 'Phin to shoot a 65 this season, doing so in round two of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on February 18. In total, he produced nine rounds of par or better on the year, with four of those under 70. Carrete's best 54-hole result and individual finish came at the Tar Heel Invitational, where he posted a six-under 210 and tied for 12th place overall.
"With this being his first year at JU, I was very encouraged by his work ethic immediately when he arrived here. He has been very effective for us from the time he walked onto campus, and is very deserving of this award." – Coach Blackburn
Michael Sakane | Fr. | Setegaya, Japan | ASUN Freshman of the Year | All-Freshmen Team
Playing 20 rounds in seven tournaments this season, Sakane becomes the first player ever in Dolphin history to win Freshman of the Year honors. With an average score of 73.50, he made 60 birdies and an eagle on the year, and was the only freshman on the team to make a shot two-under-par. Working his way onto the five-man team during the spring, Sakane's breakout performance came at the Seminole Intercollegiate on February 24-25, where he shot four-under 212 to tie with Pereda for fifth place individually. The performance, which included his 18-hole low of 68 and a pair of rounds under par, was honored by the ASUN Conference on March 1, when they selected him as Co-Player of the Week.
"Michael is probably the hardest worker on the team. He strives to get better, and works toward it every single day, rarely taking a day off. This year, it certainly showed though his performance." – Coach Blackburn
Aaeri Krishnan | Fr. | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | ASUN All-Freshmen Team
Krishnan has made seven appearances for the Dolphins the season, averaging a 73.95 score in 20 rounds. With 44 birdies to his name, the Malaysia native has gone under par in three rounds this year, and shot a 10-hole best four-under 68 in the second round of the Tar Heel Intercollegiate. Krishnan helped the 'Phins take the top spot at the Bridgestone Stroke Play for the second time in three years, finishing tied for sixth place in the team's first event of the year, which took place back on Sept. 19, 2017.
"Aaeri has gotten better at each event he has competed in, and has significantly lowered his stroke average from the start of the year. We are very optimistic about his future." – Coach Blackburn
Sam Uhland | Jr. | Jacksonville, Fla. | ASUN All-Academic Team
Concluding his third year as a member of the Dolphins, the River City native picks up his second-career ASUN postseason honor, and his first selection to the conference's All-Academic Team. A member of the 2016 All-Freshman Team, the junior holds a perfect 4.0 GPA, and is pursuing a degree in Accounting. Competing in 17 rounds of golf in six tournament this season, he has drilled 43 birdies and four eagles. One of two unanimous selections on this year's squad, Uhland shot five rounds of par or better, with three of those going under 70. He led the team's efforts at the Bridgestone Stroke Play, posting even 144 in the 36-hole event to finish second individually, his best such result as a Dolphin.
"Sam is almost in an academic realm by himself. He's an extremely smart young man, has made so many positive contributions to team during his time here. We look forward to him being a leader on the course next year." – Coach Blackburn
Following the conclusion of regular season play, the Jacksonville men's golf team begins its journey to return to the NCAA Championship this week, taking part in the ASUN Championship April 22-24 at the Chateau Elon in Braselton, Ga.